Atlanta is one of the most famous cities in the South. If you’re planning on exploring the city, many of the restaurants below are in the middle of some of the most popular shopping areas. Once you have grabbed a bite to eat at one of these amazing restaurants for lunch, take a break and take your children to the Georgia aquarium or to the Atlanta zoo. You can visit another restaurant for dinner once you have visited these family activities.
# 10 – La Grotta Ristorante Italiano
If you’re out and about and you’re stopping by for lunch, there are large windows to allow the sun to shine through so the place doesn’t need much light when it’s still light outside. Each table setting is already prepared before the restaurant is open to the public. The tables are equipped with tablecloths, and silverware, the napkins are stood up on the plates, and each table also has a small vase with a flower or two. It creates a welcoming environment. If you’re planning on going out to dinner with the family or for a date night with your significant other, the atmosphere of the restaurant changes. The colors are a mixture of gold and red and everything glows. It creates a soothing atmosphere. If you’re looking for something a little more peaceful and maybe a little less crowded, the patio set is a perfect atmosphere for you. The table and chairs are surrounded by potted plants and trees creating a peaceful environment. It’s also nice to breathe in some fresh air. Each table has its umbrellas for extra protection from the sun.
Everything you see on the menu may be written in Italian but you can recognize a menu item here and there. For example, the raviolini con caprino is a ravioli dish. This entree is ravioli that’s stuffed with goat cheese, and it was cooked in an apple and celery mixture with butter. Poured over the ravioli is the tomato sauce. You can order this dish as an appetizer or as an entree. The appetizer dish will have four ravioli, but the entree will have 7 ravioli. Another great Italian dish is the Filetto di Salmone con Crostata d’Erbe. You can tell from the name that this dish will have some kind of filet. The salmon has been crusted with herb spices after it was grilled for a few minutes on each side. It’s served over mixed vegetables with a roasted red pepper Beurre Blanc.
Address: 2637 Peachtree Rd, NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
# 9 – La Tavola
After dark, the outside of the restaurant is lit up so it appears to be gold. It looks like a masterpiece and waiting for customers to stand in front taking pictures. The inside looks just as nice as the outside, which is great because that is what you want to see after witnessing the amazing exterior of the restaurant. This is a narrow restaurant with booths against the wall and tables set up closer to the kitchen area. Next to each booth, you will find lights that are lit up creating a glow against the wall and on each booth. The kitchen area is open but not for customers to take a peek and watch the chefs work. The kitchen is in the main dining area because it’s easier for the waiters and waitresses to drop by and collect orders so they can serve the food to the customers. If you’re looking to sit somewhere where it’s not so narrow, they have an outdoor patio that has a peaceful environment. Even though the patio is in a covered area, it’s still not a great place to sit when it’s raining. There is an open area that has nothing but trees and you can get lost in a daze in that area.
There are some wonderful Italian dishes on this menu. Some you may have heard of but others you may have not heard of. One of the favorites is the spaghetti. It’s drenched in marinara sauce, and the dish is topped with fresh basil for Italian seasoning. You can select the spaghetti for one price or you can choose to add meatballs for an additional charge. You can also order this as an appetizer for a few dollars cheaper but you will get smaller portions. One item you may not have heard of is the Zuppa di, Pesce. This is a mixture of different kinds of seafood. You will receive clams, shrimp, fin fish, calamari, and a spicy tomato-shrimp brodetto.
Address: 992 Virginia Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
# 8 – Pasta Da Pulcinella
This restaurant has a bright and cheerful atmosphere about the place. It has large windows so the sun could shine through to create a brighter space. With the sun streaming through and the white walls and white tablecloths, it makes for a bright interior. This restaurant is known for having a romantic setting so this is the perfect date night or late afternoon for you and your significant other. They also have a private dining option. If you’re planning on hosting a party, you should consider this restaurant to take care of you and your guests. It has a comfortable atmosphere, and it makes you feel like you went into your kitchen to sit down at your kitchen table. The outside patio creates a peaceful atmosphere. There’s a tree in the middle with tables surrounding it. There are other trees off to the side that is not on the patio, but it still creates a peaceful feel.
The grilled chicken caesar salad is one of the healthier options. It’s ordered as an appetizer but you can request for it to be served as a meal. The chicken has been grilled and cut into strips before it is placed on the salad. You can choose to have an extra dressing on the side, but the dressing is soaked in the salad and you can mix the chicken in with the dressing if you choose to. One of the popular entrees is a dish from their specialties section of the menu. The chicken ravioli is one of those dishes. The ravioli is stuffed with mushrooms, and it’s served with a spicy tomato cream sauce. This is a great dish and one you will come back for.
Address: 1123 Peachtree Walk NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
# 7 – St. Cecilia
This restaurant is large and has comfortable seating. The staff wants you to stay a while and order more food and drinks. The tables are set up the same way as the bar, in a circular motion. Instead of sitting on hard chairs, you’re sitting on comfortable couches around your table. Each table has been set up complete with wine glasses, plates, and silverware. The bar is large with plenty of seating around the counters. There is a large case behind the bartenders where they keep all the alcohol. The restaurant also has booths that are closer to the windows and are great to sit in for a night setting. With the large white pillars and white curtains, the restaurant provides an elegant look and feel to the place. While you’re waiting for your food to arrive, you can look at all the artifacts they use for decorations but don’t touch them because they can break.
This restaurant is known for its seafood and pasta. You can try their seafood and come back again to try a pasta dish or vice versa. One of their seafood dishes includes arancini. It is fish that has been cooked in a smoker with basil seasoned on top. One of the popular pasta dishes is the cavatelli because you can get seafood and pasta in one dish. This is the perfect dish to order if you can’t decide whether you want seafood or pasta. You will have bits of lobster mixed in with noodles. It’s seasoned with tarragon and has lemon juice squirted over the dish to add a sour flavor to your entree.
Address: 3455 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326
# 6 – Pricci
This is also a large restaurant that has lots of seating for many people to eat their dinner. The restaurant has a lot of large windows on one side of the restaurant. The bar is on the opposite side of the restaurant that the windows are on. There are lights behind the case where the alcohol is located to create the illusion that the bottles of alcohol glow. There is also a television or two set up around the bar to check how your favorite sports team is doing or to see what the weather is going to be like for the upcoming week. It also helps the bartender locate them better after dark when the lights are dimmed inside the restaurant. Customers have the opportunity to sit at the bar to eat an appetizer and have a drink while they wait for a table.
One appetizer that you can order while you’re waiting for your food is the calamari & Sicilian eggplant chips. The calamari is cooked in the fryer so you can taste that crispy texture of the outside of the calamari. It is seasoned with lemon aioli and salsa Rubra. Since pizza is also an Italian food item, this restaurant has pizza on its menu. They don’t have your typical cheese and pepperoni pizzas. They have your favorite pizzas with an Italian flair to them. One pizza you can order is the sausage and soppressata pizza. The pizza is layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella and provolone cheeses, and sweet sausage. Also layered on top is spicy soppressata. It’s seasoned with castelvetrano olive pesto before it is placed in their wood-burning pizza oven to begin cooking.
Address: 500 Pharr Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
# 5 – Ecco Midtown
If you have never been here before, you can take a look at the open kitchen and see the number of fresh ingredients the chef cooks with. As you get a glimpse of the kitchen, you can catch a glimpse of the bar to see the bartenders in action making your favorite drinks. After dark, the restaurant is dimmed for a more intimate setting. When the lights are dimmed, you can see a lit-up halo in the center of the restaurant more clearly. It’s a decoration that hangs from the ceiling but when it’s lit up, it looks like a halo. They have a nice patio that extends from the restaurant and you’re seated next to the windows. There are huge umbrellas that go above the table to block the sun and you will get a nice breeze. You’re surrounded by trees when you’re sitting outside creating a peaceful atmosphere.
They have an excellent selection of different kinds of pasta to order. One of the pasta dishes is the pappardelle. It has pork that has been braised in the oven, and it’s mixed in with the noodles. This dish is topped with peppadew peppers and is seasoned with garlic and basil. If you’re a big fan of seafood, then you will love their fish dish. The fish is cooked in the frying pan and is served with roasted carrots and vadouvan yogurt. It’s topped with hazelnut-carrot pistou.
Address: 40 7th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
# 4 – Sotto Sotto
In this restaurant, you will find a private dining area. In this area, there’s a large table that is recommended for corporate events or other types of parties. Each place setting is fully equipped with wine glasses and water glasses along with bottles of wine of your choosing. In the main dining room, the atmosphere is elegant but soothing because it’s beautifully lit. The patio seating is the perfect environment for a wedding reception or a night out with friends and family. It has a brick wall that is lit up, which creates an elegant experience outside. Along the brick wall are trees lined up so perfectly. It’s almost as if you’re eating in the forest. It’s a pretty magical setting. For even more light, there are candles lit up on each table. The patio looks just as nice during the daytime hours, but it’s not lit up until the sun goes down.
The fettuccine alfredo is a great dish to have if you have never been here before. It’s a dish that everyone is familiar with. This dish has handmade tagliatelle pasta. The sauce is made with cream so it has that creamy texture, and it has Parmigiano Reggiano. You can choose to add chicken, shrimp, or both for an additional price. Another dish you could order is a dish that has seafood mixed in with pasta. Another entree they serve is the linguine alle vongle e bottarga. This dish has clams that come from Manila, and it has bottarga di muggine. The sauce is made with white wine, and the dish is seasoned with garlic, olive oil, and parsley.
Address: 313 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
# 3 – Valenza
One thing that may catch your attention is the large bar that takes up most of the restaurant. There are various kinds of alcohol the customer can choose from, and it’s organized in a professional manner behind the bar. Everything behind the bar is organized and is within reach for the bartenders to get to so they can work like a well-oiled machine. There are also more wine bottles to choose from that are not behind the bar so the customers can choose which one they want or they can find their favorite kind. If you choose to eat outside on their patio, you will be taken to a peaceful atmosphere. There are several tables and plenty of shade because there are several trees surrounding you while you eat. You may see a few strands of lights hanging around the trees. After dark, the patio is lit up, and the mood changes to an intimate experience.
If you have a craving for seafood, order the salmon. This is probably one of the best dishes on the menu. The main part of this entree is the steelhead salmon. The salmon is grilled to perfection on both sides so you have the crispy exterior part of the salmon when you bite into it. The salmon is served with artichokes, white beans, and a tomato brodo. The spaghettini is a great choice for a pasta dish. The meatballs consist of veal pork with mozzarella. The spaghetti is homemade and is cooked with red wine and San Marzano tomato sauce covers the dish.
Address: 1441 Dresden Dr. NE, Ste 100, Atlanta, GA 30319
# 2 – Bambinelli’s Pizza & Pasta
The interior and exterior of this restaurant have a more casual atmosphere than the other restaurants previously mentioned. It’s a restaurant suited for families, and they take photos of customers and put them on their wall, with their approval. There are potted plants at the front of the restaurant indicating a welcoming environment. Customers have mentioned how nice and helpful the staff is when asking questions about the menu. In a different section of the main dining area, it’s a little more elegant than the rest of the place. When sitting in that section, you will be sitting next to brick walls that have lights on certain parts. It creates a glowing effect that makes the area enjoyable and relaxing to be in.
The lasagna is one of the best choices to order at Bamielli’s. Your meal will be served to you in a bowl covered in marinara sauce with some extra sauce covering the bottom layer of the lasagna. As you cut into the lasagna, you will see the layers of ground beef, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. It was baked in their homemade tomato sauce before arriving to you so you can take your first bite. If you’re like most people, one of your favorite foods is pizza. There is a Bambinelli’s special pizza you can order for your table. The chef will spread out the pizza dough and will put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the dough. The chef will add mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, onions, and mushrooms before placing the pizza in the oven to be baked in a light golden brown.
Address: 3202 Northlake Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30345
# 1 – Amalfi Cucina & Mercato – Downtown Atlanta
Whether you live in Atlanta or are planning on traveling to have a personal vacation, you must stop by this restaurant because it has been voted the best place to have lunch or dinner by travelers. To enter the restaurant, you will walk down a brick walkway. As you’re walking, you can look at the colorful mural on the left side. It’s a short walk, and then you will climb a flight of stairs before you walk through the doors of Amalfi. The brick walls and the hardwood floors create an elegant atmosphere throughout the restaurant. You have a choice to sit in u-shaped booths or at the table and chairs. Both are a great choice and are comfortable. When you see the flowers that have been put out before the dinner service, it provides a welcoming environment for new and returning customers. When you’re approached by staff to take your order, you will get welcoming grins and helpful employees.
You may not have found an Italian restaurant that will provide meals for your dietary needs. If you are on a gluten-free diet, this dish will satisfy your hunger needs. It’s called the vegano penne pasta. This pasta is gluten-free and handmade. It has EVOO, capers, spinach, garlic, artichokes, and tomatoes that are all mixed. Another favorite dish that kids and adults love is Nonna’s spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs are homemade and are made with beef, veal, and pork mixture. The spaghetti noodles are made by hand, and they are drowned in San Marzano tomato sauce. It makes for an excellent dish.
Address: 17 Andrew Young International Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30303
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